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Madison victim tracks down her stole iPhone, helps with arrest

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MADISON (WKOW) - The Madison victim of the theft of her iPhone and her identity used surveillance video and a phone app to track and detain the suspect, until police officers could arrest him.

Eric Eisenhauer, 51, of Madison was charged Tuesday with felony ID theft and other crimes, including battery against the victim's mother. Authorities say Eisenhauer was released from state prison earlier this year.

The victim asks that we keep her anonymous, as she's concerned Eisenhauer may make his $500 bail and be released. The 21-year old woman says she went to great lengths to find Eisenhauer because she was afraid delaying to act would allow him to vanish.

"My phone, he stole my stuff," she says. "He's not going to get away from it."

Authorities say the woman's phone, debit card and driver's license were stolen while she was at a Madison bar Sunday. She says she learned her card was used shortly after bar time and she went to the place of purchase with a friend. "A soon as we walked in, he (store clerk) said, 'Yeah, I got the video right here.' "

There were more clues beyond the surveillance video. "The man must have turned on my phone on because it pinged," she says.

With the "Find My Phone" app keeping tabs on the device, the victim's mother realized there was a phone store near the location. The store purchases phones, so mother and daughter shared their information with store employee Chantal Schroeder. Schroeder says a few hours later, "...a guy walked in with a white, iPhone X," which matched the stolen phone's description.

Schroeder turned on the phone for the would-be seller and saw an alert on its status, texted the victim, and stalled Eisenhauser to give the victim time to arrive.

"It took ten, fifteen minutes, so it was kind of nerve-wracking," Schroeder says. "But we made it happen."

"I was just, I'm not letting this man go," the victim says of her arrival with her mother at the store, and barricading the store doors with some bystanders to give police time to arrive. Eisenhauer allegedly knocked the victim's mother down during the confrontation.

The victim has her iPhone back, and is ready to cooperate with prosecutors.

Author Profile Photo

Tony Galli

Reporter, WKOW

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